A lexicon for the health care reform debate

Thomas Gallick

The health care debate has gotten really ugly in this country, and both sides have been reduced to playground chanting and name calling in order to get their points across.

Luckily for you, I’m about to break down what both sides actually mean when they’re shouting from the aisles at the latest town hall grudge match.

Note, I am not a medical professional, nor have I even read any of the bills regarding the proposed reform measures. So what qualifies me to make these judgments?

No one understands the art form of the flimsy argument better than a college student. After countless hours of conversation with that one possibly stoned dude in your dorm who came back with a new reason every day for why the moon landing was fake, you can spot a crackpot argument from a mile away.

Here are some phrases you’ve heard over and over again from politicians, town hall protestors, pundits and wags, as well as what they’re truly saying.

I want my America back: The forward progression of time scares and confuses me. This is why I’m hysterically crying in public. I remember when an ice cream cone cost a dime.

BOOOOO!: I’m a conservative, and I have no insight into this complex issue, but I still deserve to be heard, dammit!

Yes, we can!: I’m a liberal, and I have no insight into this complex issue, but I still deserve to be heard, dammit!

Many Americans may be wondering what’s in this for me?: Don’t worry; we’re not doing this just to help poor people.

We want to hold insurance companies to a higher standard: The insurance companies would literally suck the marrow from your bones if they could.

They want to institute “death panels”: The Democrats worked long and hard to keep things they thought would be controversial to mainstream America out of this bill. I expect you to believe they left in the part about the government having the right to kill grandma, you gullible hayseed.

The (liberals/conservatives) are acting like Nazis: I am an idiot. Please ignore me.

There are a lot of rumors out there: Do you really think we’re going to pull the plug on your granny?

Socialism!: They’re going to redistribute some of my money! It’s never been done before! I went to sleep in America and woke up in Russia!

This is just part of our effort to rebuild our economy: We really, really don’t want you to think we’re just doing this to help out poor people who cannot afford health insurance. We cannot reiterate that enough.

Honestly, both sides just need to be a little more truthful with the public. Liberals may think health care reform can make our economy stronger, but they should stop acting like compassion is a dirty word.

Conservatives may not think the time is right for this kind of sweeping reform, but the public, at least I hope, is sick and tired of scare tactics and efforts to shout down those with differing opinions.

And can we please agree that neither side is comparable to Nazi Germany?

Thomas Gallick is a senior newspaper journalism major and a columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].